Black Lives Matter.
As a cooperative, as a community, we recognize the ways in which white supremacy has, and continues to, perpetuate systems of harm against Black bodies in America. We recognize the ways in which food justice, food equity, and our food system are complicit in and interconnected to the greater struggle for equality, and how a people denied their most basic of needs for life and security for generations cannot and should not be expected to remain silent in the face of that continued violence.
We also recognize that as an organization with a commitment to social justice encoded in our founding principles, it is necessary, now more than ever, to do more to advocate for meaningful change. We have been posting educational resources on our social media accounts (instagram and facebook) over the weekend, and wish to reiterate them here as well, as we work in solidarity with the Black activists, leaders, thinkers, makers, farmers, and community members who have been doing this work. As a majority-white organization and community, it is imperative that we acknowledge our complicity in systems of oppression, and step into the work needed to change them. ‘Everyone Is Welcome’ is above our door–we need to embody the truth of those words in our actions, in our listening, and in our cooperative values. Black lives matter. It is an entire sentence, and a complete statement. It is not a debate.
Please review the links below for resources, actions, and education to join us in the un-learning and activity necessary to stand in solidarity with our fellow cooperators and community members. Today, yesterday, and into all of the tomorrows: Black lives matter.
These resources and this conversation is a starting point: we have much work to do, as an organization and as a community, to divest ourselves from a white supremacist system and legacy, and to put thought into action. We invite community dialogue, feedback, and action planning as we work together to address this legacy, in the service of a just society.
[from Lynn Hazan and Alexandria Perez]
The Anti-Racism Resources document was created by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein. The resources include parenting tips to raise anti-racist children, articles to read, and other media materials to help educate yourself and others. Organizations to follow on social media are also highlighted. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, this is a great way to begin.
Anti-racism Resource Guide
Tasha Ryals put together a detailed anti-racism resource guide that includes suggested pre-reading, how to start your journey, and the several different studies and subjects that touch upon the human experience of BIPOC. If you want a detailed look at the literature, videos, and podcasts available, this is a great guide.
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
In this Medium article, Corinne Shutack highlights the several things white people can do for racial justice including local actions, donation pages for anti-white supremacy work, ways to contact legislators, and educational books/movies.
11 Terms You Should Know to Better Understand Structural Racism
The Aspen Institute posted a list of terms and their meanings to help people further understand structural racism and racial equity. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the meanings behind terms like “institutional racism” and “systemic racism.”
Rachel Ricketts’ Anti-Racism Resources
Whether you’re looking to understand whiteness or want to explore the racism behind spirituality and wellness, Rachel Ricketts’ guide offers articles, podcasts, and more helpful resources listed by category.
Places to donate to:
[The Franklin Community Co-op will be donating to the Massachusetts Bail Fund and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in addition to our continued support for local food justice projects]
Outrage, Sadness and Solidarity:
A Statement from the Franklin Community Co-op Board of Directors
At our Co-op’s Annual Membership Meeting on March 1st, member-owners affirmed the addition to our Ends policies of the statement that “The Co-op will strive to become a fully inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural organization.” As the Co-op’s Board of Directors, we thus feel particularly compelled to add our voice to those commenting on the recent murder of George Floyd and the seismic reactions occurring across the fault lines of the country this past week.
This awful event resonates with other recent incidents, lethal and otherwise, as well as the long history of targeting and victimizing people of color in our country. The range of response has been wide, including massive peaceful protests and spontaneous expressions of genuine rage. This rage is voicing decades and generations of accumulated grievances.
As a Board, we recognize that we too are each reacting in our own ways, based on our different perspectives and life experiences. Some of us are feeling inchoate rage, some are in a place of deep mourning. Some of us are yet again re-living the trauma of what has been done to us since childhood based on the color of our skin. Some of us are disturbed by the growing awareness of our own implicit bias and complicity. We see that it may be easy to point the finger at obviously egregious instances of racial violence in others but not acknowledge the more subtle and insidious forms of prejudice and privilege within ourselves that prop up the continuation of injustice and inequity throughout our society.
While no single statement can convey the full breadth of our individual responses, we are solidly united in our clarity that the system that has sustained these racist inequities in our culture must be continuously challenged and disrupted, as must the habits and attitudes that contribute to the maintenance of that system.
We are also clear that words are not enough. Justice is what every person of color deserves and needs right now and it’s a long way from happening. We call for vigorous re-examination of the policies, training, oversight and discipline with regard to police use of force at the state and local level.
On a more personal level, as a majority-white Board of a majority-white organization in a majority-white community, those of us who have been in the privileged majority should reach out to people of color in our lives — family, friends, co-workers — and be there for them. Offer to listen to their individual experiences of racism, prejudice, hate, bias and abuse. Many are being re-traumatized by these recent events.
The Board reaffirms its commitment to continue its work on these issues, both in our community and in ourselves, as part of our ongoing project to increase our intercultural competence. We are committed to promoting the changes necessary to make our community a more equitable one, where all voices are heard and violence is intolerable.
The Franklin Community Co-op Board of Directors:
Margaret Cooley, Andee Crommett, Jeanne Douillard, Peter Garbus, Emily Gopen, Andy Grant, Rachael Katz, Micah Roberts, Bob Sagor, George Touloumtzis, AnnieWinkler